By Christine Taylor
I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was thirty-two. At the time, my idea of what it meant to have breast cancer only had one ending. Just a few years before I my diagnosis, I had watched helplessly as my young aunt fought her battle and, ultimately succumbed to her disease. That is how I thought my story would end too, and I was terrified.
The turning point for me happened when I was going in for a biopsy of my lungs. A nurse was checking my wristband at the hospital and said, “I had breast cancer eight years ago.” Then, my mother’s friend shared that she was eight years out of treatment. The woman fitting me for my wig had breast cancer ten years ago, and my amazing yoga teacher is over twenty years out. Everywhere I went, I met someone with a wonderful story of survivorship. The care, compassion and words of hope that they gifted me with were exactly what I needed to realize that I could have my own story.
I wanted to look into a young girl’s eyes many years from now and be able to offer the same hope and support that so many women gave me when I needed it. As a newly diagnosed patient, I was driven to find the best modalities and the best practitioners that were suited to work with a woman with breast cancer who is holistic minded. As I built my team of caregivers, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to take what I have learned share it with other women?”
So, I went back to school to become a certified holistic health coach. Now, I specialize in helping women with cancer in all stages of treatment and survivorship. I work with them, not just through diet and exercise, but also through recognizing the importance of caring for their mind and spirit. I introduce clients to the tools that helped me such as Reiki and guided meditation yoga and more, and refer them to the best practitioners and teachers. My aim is to empower people to take responsibility for their quality of life and for their health moving forward through simple and sustainable changes that are easy to integrate.
I believe that we are all together in this journey and that our gifts and talents become amplified when we face life’s challenges. It is up to all of us who have come through a painful experience to use what we have learned to make the trip a little easier for those who come after us. Sharing your experience is one of the greatest gifts you can give to the world.
Christine Taylor is a Holistic Health Coach, and a student of Reiki. She lives in Hampton Bays, NY